Please explain the difference in these 2 photos/2 cameras

Started May 8, 2011 | Discussions thread
Peter Shute
Regular MemberPosts: 198
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Re: Please explain the difference in these 2 photos/2 cameras
In reply to rcyphermd, May 10, 2011

rcyphermd wrote:

I am somewhat of a digital newbie. I used 2 cameras for my daughter's graduation ceremony. Way different results. On the Panasonic, I left the iso at max 400. I had the Nikon totally automatic. It used iso 1600 on some of the photos. But the Nikon picture was SO much better. I just do not understand. The Panasonic is supposed to be a top of the line camera. Did I do some settings wrong? Thanks for helping to teach me something!

Not a totally fair comparison of the cameras' capabilities. Here's my opinion, as a family happy snapper.

As others have said, the Panasonic's smaller sensor will produce more noise, so I suspect the normal Auto mode limited it to ISO 400. That resulted in an exposure of only 1/13 second, and there's a lot of motion blur. It also looks like it's focused on someone about 3 heads in from the bottom of the photo, so the subject is a little out of focus too.

The Nikon used 1600, which got it up to 1/20 second, so there's much less motion blur. You've also zoomed in more, and it's less crowded, which might have helped it focus on the right person. But the zooming got the aperture down to f5.6, compared to the Panasonic's f4, so not zooming might have got the shutter speed up a little more.

I think I would have set the Panasonic to Hi-auto which allows it to choose a higher ISO. Better to have less motion blur than less grain, in my opinion. Our family camera (Ixus80, I think) is permanently on Hi auto. I would also have set it to use spot focus, if it's got it, so it didn't get confused. I don't think our Ixus has that, so I just keep pointing it in slightly different directions and half pressing till the green focus square lands on the intended subject.

In conditions like those, I often take several shots in succession. Sometimes you can fluke a moment when the subject is still. According to dpreview, the FZ100 can do 11 frames per second, which should increase your chances.

As far as recording the scenes for the memories goes, I'd be happy with both shots, given the lighting and the distance. They could be better, but just print them small and they'll look ok in the album.

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